When it comes to sealing concrete (see Parts 1, 2 & 3), the two primary types of sealers on the market are penetrating sealers and film-forming sealers. Both types have different strengths and weaknesses. In order to figure out which one is best for your property’s concrete surfaces, you’ll have to consider the type of look you’re hoping to achieve as well as your concrete’s unique characteristics and needs.
What are the Benefits of Penetrating Sealers?
Penetrating sealers include several different chemicals that help them to protect your concrete surfaces. These include siliconates, silicates, siloxanes, and silanes. These substances actually penetrate the concrete itself.
If you have an exterior concrete surface that requires premium protection, a penetrating sealer is probably the right choice for you. These sealers are designed to provide long-lasting protection. They aren’t subject to the same kind of wear and tear as some of the other sealers. They also provide a natural finish that won’t alter the appearance of your concrete.
What are the Benefits of Film-Forming Sealers?
Film-forming sealers are made from either epoxy, acrylic, or urethane substances. They work by coating the top of your concrete surface and forming a protective layer. These sealers are ideal for anyone looking to give their concrete flooring a colored or glossy look. They work best for interior applications. If you choose a film-forming sealer, you can expect to need to replace it more often than a penetrating sealer. Film-forming sealers are attractive, but compared to penetrating sealers, they aren’t as durable.
Which is Better: Standard or Professional Grade Concrete Sealer?
A local home improvement store will sell standard grade concrete sealer on their shelves. Though these products may be acceptable for some low traffic residential applications, they’re not going to hold up as well in a high traffic commercial property. If you own a warehouse, plant, or another type of commercial property with concrete surfaces, choosing to go with a professional-grade sealer for your concrete surfaces would be a wise investment.
You won’t find professional-grade sealers on the store shelves. Instead, you’ll need to seek out a concrete supply retailer or order the sealers online from manufacturers. Find a sealer with positive professional reviews. Look for reviews that offer helpful descriptions of the benefits of the sealer, such as good coverage, long-lasting, scratch-resistant, weather-resistant. You’ll also want to search for a product with reviews that discuss ease of application.
What Amount of Sealer Will Do the Job?
In order to make sure you have the right amount of product to seal your concrete surfaces, find out how many square feet you need to cover, the rate of coverage for the product in question, and how many coats you’ll need to create an effective seal.
The rate of coverage could be different for an older floor compared to a newer floor, because the older floor is more porous. If you’re sealing an older concrete floor, it’s a good idea to get more sealer than what is typically recommended to cover the amount of floor space. When you use a sealer that requires a second coat, the latter coat will normally only require half as much sealing product as the first coat.
Chances are you may end up needing more sealer than you anticipate. That’s why it’s always better to have too much rather than not enough. If you have to stop in the middle of the job to order more sealer, you may not get the best results.
In our final article (coming soon) in this series, we’ll consider some practical tips to keep in mind when applying a sealer to your concrete surfaces.
If you are based around the Charlotte, North Carolina region and need commercial/industrial concrete services, feel free to contact us at CombsConcrete.com or call us at 704.875.9022 to find out more about the benefits of enlisting our dedicated service for all your concrete needs.